Harry was released from the hospital wing next morning. His arm fully functional again.
He ran off to Gryffindor tower to find Ron and Hermione but they weren't there. He left the tower and headed off to find them wondering where they could have run off to and why they hadn't come to check on him. He felt slightly hurt.
As he passed the library he ran into Percy who looked happier than Harry had seen him as of late.
"Well hello Harry. Excellent flying yesterday, really excellent." He said brightly "You earned fifty points and Gryffindor's in the lead for the house cup!"
Harry grinned, then asked "Have you seen Ron and Hermione anywhere?"
Percy's smile melted away "No..hope Ron's not in a girl's toilet again.."
Harry forced a laugh and then made a beeline for Myrtle's bathroom as soon as Percy was out of sight. He found Ron and Hermione there. They'd heard the news about Collin which was why they hadn't met him in the Hospital Wing. They'd wanted to get a start on the potion and had decided that this would be the safest place to hide it. Harry told them about Dobby's late night visit. As Hermione added knotgrass, lacewing flies and leeches to the potion
Again... Hermione thought So this has happened before..
That settles it. Malfoy's father must've opened the chamber when he was in school and now he's taught Draco how to do it. He was probably in such a foul mood after the match yesterday that he took it out on Collin.
I wonder what the monster could be... Hermione thought with a shudder And how could it possibly be sneaking around without being seen.
Ron looked at Harry So it was old Dobby that stopped us from getting through the barrier and got your arm broken. He thought You know something..if he keeps trying to save your life...he's going to kill you. Harry rolled his eyes and gave Ron a playful shove.
They left the bathroom after making sure the coast was clear. Ron took Harry and Hermione by the hands and steered them toward the castle entrance.
Let's go for a walk. It's actually not bad out and it'll be too cold to get outside properly soon. He thought. And I want to stop thinking about all this for a little while.
The other two agreed, they left the castle and began to make their way across the grounds. Some other students were out as well, milling around the grounds. The trio made it to the lake. There was a tiny circle of trees, grouped rather close together on one end of the lake. They'd seen these trees before but this time Ron led them towards the tiny grove. He ran over and looked around.
"Hey come look, there's a gap here." He said waving them over. Harry and Hermione made their way over to where Ron was standing, he pointed out a small v-shaped gap between two of the trees.
"Wanna take a look?" Ron asked
"Sure." The other two said together. Ron climbed in through the gap and they heard him gasp
"This is awesome!" He called "Come on in!" Harry and Hermione made their way in behind him. It was just as nice as Ron's excitement had suggested. They were completely hidden from the other people on the grounds because of how close the trees were together, there was plenty of room for all three of them.
"Wow." Harry whispered
Wonder if anyone knows this is here. Hermione thought
Doubt it. Ron answered I don't think anyone would think to go through that gap.
The three of them grinned at each other
Guess this is our place now. Ron thought, sitting down on the grass.
Yep. Harry agreed, plopping down beside him Hermione settled down as well so that they were sitting in a circle. They spent the afternoon in the tree grove, talking, playing, enjoying the last of the decent outside weather and trying to forget, at least for awhile. Forget an illegal potion simmering away in an out-of-order bathroom, forget the theft they were going to have to commit to finish said potion, forget the writing on the wall and the creeping monster, forget their fellow Gryffindor laying in the hospital wing as if turned to stone, and..just for awhile..three young kids were able to be just that. Three young kids, doing normal kid things with no worries besides their growing feelings for one another, how their House would fair in the Championship, and how well Harry was sure to play in the next Quidditch match.